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Why are there so many similar-caliber hotels along Market Street?

Jim Ware

A quick look on Google Maps shows 10 hotels/motels on Market Street piled up in a line one after another in the short distance between Covil Avenue and New Centre Drive.

The Wilmington City Planning department could not give an official answer as to why Market Street has become the home to so many, but Wilmington’s newly renovated Best Western Plus sales director Mary Lou Hurst can.

“It’s a great location,” said Hurst who’s been with Best Western owners Daly Seven Hotels Inc. for 15 years. “We’re four miles from downtown, close to the beach. Let’s say you can’t afford to keep your family beachfront, we’ve got restaurants, the movies, we’re not far from Mayfaire – I love our location.”

Wilmington hotels are not required to report vacancy rates, making it difficult to find out if every Market Street hotel has ever been sold out, but lower-priced Market Street hotels do offer walk-in service when downtown and beach hotels book up during peak season or in-town events.

With Market Street being Wilmington’s oldest thoroughfare, building new hotels or upgrading old ones along Market Street has been mainly market driven, said City of Wilmington Senior Planner Christine Hughes. Market Street’s longtime Inn Keeper hotel transformed into Best Western Plus this year with renovation construction to the inside.

“The hotel is really top notch,” said Hurst who wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. “Market Street has a lot to offer for getting people somewhere quickly.”

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